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Idenix's Q1 Loss Widens

Zacks Equity Research

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (IDIX) shares declined 4.9% after the company reported a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter of 2014. The company posted a loss of 24 cents per share in the first quarter of 2014, wider than the year-ago quarter loss of 23 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 20 cents per share.

In the first quarter, Idenix’s revenues were ($3) million, down from $0.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The $3.9 million decline reflected charges against revenues due to the impact of Novartis’ (NVS) stock subscription rights. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues for the reported quarter was nil.

The Quarter in Detail

Research and development expenses decreased 12.2% from the first quarter of 2013 to $21.1 million. This decrease was mainly due to the discontinuation of development of IDX184 and IDX19368 in early 2013 and IDX20963 in 2014, partially offset by increased expenses due to the development of IDX21437.  

General and administrative expense surged 36.7% year over year to $10.3 million. This increase was driven by patent litigation and other costs.

Pipeline Update

IDX21437 (300 mg), Idenix’s lead uridine-based nucleotide prodrug candidate, is slated to advance to a phase II combination study with samatasvir for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (:HCV) infection by mid-2014.

Meanwhile, Idenix and partner Janssen are conducting a phase II study (HELIX−2) on samatasvir in combination with Olysio and TMC647055/r (with and without ribavirin) for GT 1 HCV infected patients. Data from HELIX-2 should be out in the second half of 2014.

2014 Guidance

Idenix expects R&D expenses for 2014 to be higher than the 2013 level due to increased investment in pipeline development. The company expects its current cash and cash equivalents to sustain operations into the second half of 2015.

Idenix currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN). Both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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